Anya Roberts-Toney

Anya Roberts-ToneyAnya Roberts-Toney makes paintings and drawings that combine references to pop and digital culture with formal disruptive strategies in order to address themes of femininity, beauty, and visual breakdown. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions and was recently featured on the arts blog She received her MFA in Visual Studies from Pacific Northwest College of Art (2014) and her BA in Studio Art from Brown University (2006). Originally from Seattle, WA, she currently lives and works in Portland, OR. (Photo credit: Mario Gallucci)

Artist’s Statement

In my painting practice I seek to combine recognizable imagery with moments of disruption in order to explore the line between abstraction and figuration. Much of my recent work has been influenced by the idea of glitching—a glitch being visual evidence of temporary breakdown in the code of a digital image—and my intention is to create a similar breakdown within my paintings through both formal strategies and direct references to technology.

A driving factor in my work is my interest in how ideas of femininity are constructed and disseminated culturally, and I use images sourced from perfume and fashion advertisements, music videos, celebrity fan sites, and television shows as references in my work in order to explore how these ideas are communicated through available images. I’m interested in the act of looking at images, particularly online, and I seek to include references to the digital, the cinematic, and to advertising within my paintings as a way of acknowledging this contemporary habit. By referencing this act of looking—and by incorporating moments of breakdown—my intention is to hint at a level of vulnerability within these images that might make them unfixed, malleable, and potentially remade in a new form.

What We Talk About

Multimedia installation exhibited at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, OR.

(All images from this series courtesy of Mario Gallucci)

Love Songs and Perfume Romantics

(Images courtesy the artist)